Author Topic: Marie Antoinette and Axel Fersen  (Read 53108 times)

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Offline elena_maria_vidal

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Re: Marie Antoinette and Axel Fersen
« Reply #45 on: January 17, 2006, 08:34:28 AM »
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That's a very funny story, I mean about the nun! I wonder if features in the new film (probably not). MA definitely had a sense of humour, which is why I like her.

I wanted to ask about Axel's politics (to change the subject from sex!).

I assume he was very conservative in outlook. Did he influence Marie Antoinette at all (or vice versa). To what extent was Marie Antoinette herself influential in politics - did she really "take over" in 1790-1791? I read a letter of Mme Elisabeth where she writes that the Queen was not calling the shots, but she may have been "economical with the truth" for whatever reason, or maybe she didn't know.



Yes, Marie-Antoinette did have a wonderful sense of humor, even about her own shortcomings. Her sense of comedy made her a fairly good amateur actress in the plays she would perform for the family in her small papier-mache theatre at Trianon.

Fersen was essentially a monarchist and professional courtier. I do not know if he influenced the queen politically. I doubt that she took political philosphy into account. Her main goal was to save the lives of her family and the throne for her son.

The situation at the Tuileries between Louis, Antoinette and Mme Elisabeth, while very loving was fraught with disagreement as to how to handle the situation. First of  all, both the king and queen took turns having minor nervous breakdowns throughout this very turbulent period, in which they had to each take over for the other. Louis was torn between his duties as king under the new regime, his duties as a son of the Catholic Church, especially after the Civil Constitution of the Clergy in 1790, and his duties as a father of a family. His veto of a law in  June1792 condemning non-juring priests to death camps in South America caused a mob to storm the Tuileries. This was the famous moment when he donned the red cap, calmed down the crowd and ended up giving them a tour of the palace, while the queen and her children were hiding in a closet for fear of their lives.

The queen had no such conflict. Her children came first, and her church. She thought she could "manage" the revolutionaries by playing off the various factions, all the while writing desperate letters to her relatives abroad, begging them to come rescue her. Louis wanted her to leave, but she would not leave without him, and he felt he could not abandon his people. Even during the escape attempt, it was not his plan to leave the country, just rally support in the provinces, as he claimed at his trial.

As for Mme Elisabeth, she thought the revolution was from the pit of hell and would have nothing to do with placating the leaders of the people. She wrote her brother Artois, begging him to raise an army and come get them out of there.

Offline elena_maria_vidal

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Re: Marie Antoinette and Axel Fersen
« Reply #46 on: January 17, 2006, 10:32:57 AM »
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Wow! The nun story is a great one, which I did not know!
  Thanks!

  I beleive that Marie Antoinette was in love with Fersen, but I am not too sure how far it went. i do not think there was a physical relation between them when the royal  couple was still at Versailles, However it could have happen while in the Tuilleries, Rester la! means stay there but not sleep there!!! There is a diference in French between rester la et coucher la!!!
 
  


 It seems to me that sometimes the greatest love stories are those that play themselves out in the daily routine of two people in a committed relationship trying to plod through life together with all its tragedies and ups and downs. I always thought that Marie-Antoinette's relationship with Louis was much more interesting than the elusive connection with Axel von Fersen.

However, there is the whole story of the ring that the Queen supposedly gave to Fersen; I think Stanley Loomis wrote about it and certainly Hilaire Belloc did (the latter believing it was the token of a platonic love.) The ring was inscribed with the words, "All things lead me to thee," meaning "death" I believe, but it may have had a special meaning for the ill-fated friends. If anyone knows more about this, let me know. I seem to recall that Fersen was wearing the ring when he was lynched, and it became an heirloom in his family, but I may be wrong. (They made much of the ring in the 1930's film with Tyrone Power as Fersen.)

Then there is the wedding ring which Antoinette gave to Louis on their wedding day in 1770 when she was 14 years old. It was inscribed with the date and the words:"Marie-Antoinette, Archduchess of Austria." When Louis was leaving the Temple prison to be guillotined, he gave the ring to his faithful valet Clery, asking him to make sure it was returned to the Queen. The commissaries confiscated it, which really upset Marie-Antoinette, who was already distraught over her husband's execution. One of the guards, Toulan, had fallen in love with her and stole the ring back. He sent it to Louis XVIII at the Antoinette's behest. Louis XVIII gave it to  Louis and Antoinette's daughter Madame Royale on the day of her wedding to her cousin Angouleme. She wore it the rest of her life, raising it to her lips at the very moment she died.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by elena_maria_vidal »

Offline Sissi

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Re: Marie Antoinette and Axel Fersen
« Reply #47 on: January 17, 2006, 10:43:11 AM »
Madame Elisabet was more of a reactionaire she was in favour of an invasion, she insisted in letters to Provence and Artois to make a coalition and invade France either from Austria or Savoie where both of them at that time.

  Louis XVI in the other hand did not want an internal war, he wanted to protect his people and didnot want them to get hurt and in Marie Antoinette case she was not in favor of an open coalition from Provence and Artois because she thought it was a double edge knight, she was ratehr in favor of an Austrian coalition leaded by her brother and after his death by her nephew.
 She actually passed the french army position to austria.

Offline elena_maria_vidal

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Re: Marie Antoinette and Axel Fersen
« Reply #48 on: January 17, 2006, 10:47:16 AM »
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Madame Elisabet was more of a reactionaire she was in favour of an invasion, she insisted in letters to Provence and Artois to make a coalition and invade France either from Austria or Savoie where both of them at that time.

   Louis XVI in the other hand did not want an internal war, he wanted to protect his people and didnot want them to get hurt and in Marie Antoinette case she was not in favor of an open coalition from Provence and Artois because she thought it was a double edge knight, she was ratehr in favor of an Austrian coalition leaded by her brother and after his death by her nephew.
  She actually passed the french army position to austria.


You summed it up beautifully, Sisi! I did think, however, that it was controversial about the queen passing on military information to Austria. I didn't think she had too much access to such information.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by elena_maria_vidal »

Offline Sissi

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Re: Marie Antoinette and Axel Fersen
« Reply #49 on: January 17, 2006, 12:20:17 PM »
Some pictures of "Le charmant Suedois"

  "Tutto a te me guida"








Offline elena_maria_vidal

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Re: Marie Antoinette and Axel Fersen
« Reply #50 on: January 17, 2006, 12:32:36 PM »
Great pictures! Yes, the phrase on the ring was in Italian, thanks!

Offline Sissi

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Re: Marie Antoinette and Axel Fersen
« Reply #51 on: January 17, 2006, 01:12:32 PM »
 ;) I wonder why it was in Italian! Marie Antoinette had a rather poor knowledge of Italian! I wonder if italian might have a secret or special meaning for them!

 I read that she used the ring even when was imprisoned she sent it to Fersen almost at the end, when she knew that she would never see him again.
 

Offline Sissi

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Re: Marie Antoinette and Axel Fersen
« Reply #52 on: January 17, 2006, 01:25:59 PM »


This was Marie Antoinette cell it has been transformed into a seldom used chapel! (la Conciergerie)

Offline elena_maria_vidal

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Re: Marie Antoinette and Axel Fersen
« Reply #53 on: January 17, 2006, 01:30:25 PM »
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;) I wonder why it was in Italian! Marie Antoinette had a rather poor knowledge of Italian! I wonder if italian might have a secret or special meaning for them!

  I read that she used the ring even when was imprisoned she sent it to Fersen almost at the end, when she knew that she would never see him again.
  


Oh, I always thought that the queen knew Italian quite well. According to Mme de Lamballe, a native Italian, Marie-Antoinette, corresponded with her sisters in Italian (two of whom were married to Italian princes). I also heard she knew Italian diction well enough to sing arias. It was the language of the arts and and having a working knowledge of it was part of the most basic education for a princess. Her tutor in Italian as a child was the famous poet, Padre Mestastio. It seems like I even remember reading somewhere that the queen herself wrote verses in that language.

When Madame Royale was born, Louis, who had made a wager with Empress Maria Teresa over the gender of the child, said to Antoinette after the long and difficult labor, the verses of her former tutor Mestastio:

Io perdrei: l'augusta figlia
A pagar, m'a condemnato
Ma s'e ver che a voi somiglia
Tutto il mondo guadognato.

("I have lost, my august daughter has condemned me to pay: but if she should be like you, then all the world has won.")

Yes, she sent the ring to Fersen towards the end to thank him for all that he had tried to do for herself and her family.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by elena_maria_vidal »

Offline elena_maria_vidal

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Re: Marie Antoinette and Axel Fersen
« Reply #54 on: January 17, 2006, 01:33:37 PM »
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This was Marie Antoinette cell it has been transformed into a seldom used chapel! (la Conciergerie)


It did not look like that the last time I was there, in 1999. It was beautiful, with a memorial dedicated to Mme. Elisabeth some some moving oil paintings of the queen in prison.

Offline Sissi

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Re: Marie Antoinette and Axel Fersen
« Reply #55 on: January 17, 2006, 01:42:46 PM »
The cell  you visit was probably the one next door, which you are right is a memorial to them.

Offline Sissi

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Re: Marie Antoinette and Axel Fersen
« Reply #56 on: January 17, 2006, 01:44:07 PM »
Thanks for the anecdote of the verses, this is the first time I hear it!

Offline elena_maria_vidal

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Re: Marie Antoinette and Axel Fersen
« Reply #57 on: January 17, 2006, 03:08:16 PM »
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The cell  you visit was probably the one next door, which you are right is a memorial to them.


No,  it was the chapel where her cell had been, and it was the same as when I had first visited it in 1980. They did reconstruct nearby a replica of what her cell looked like while she was in it. I wish I had a picture of it. Do you know what I am speaking of?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by elena_maria_vidal »

Offline elena_maria_vidal

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Re: Marie Antoinette and Axel Fersen
« Reply #58 on: January 17, 2006, 03:09:16 PM »
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Thanks for the anecdote of the verses, this is the first time I hear it!


With pleasure!

Offline elena_maria_vidal

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Re: Marie Antoinette and Axel Fersen
« Reply #59 on: January 17, 2006, 03:11:20 PM »
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The cell  you visit was probably the one next door, which you are right is a memorial to them.


When was this picture taken? Maybe they have made something new since I was last there - I must say it is a rather plain chapel.